Twitter opens up ‘privacy centre’ to boost transparency

mobile (2)Twitter is aiming to be more transparent about how it handles user data, including the information advertisers receive, by setting up a “privacy centre” website designed to provide clarity on how it handles data protection issues.

The changes, which also include an update to its terms and conditions, are due to take effect on January 1, 2020, to bring the tech giant in line with the new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

The privacy centre site will host information about privacy-related initiatives, announcements, privacy products, notices about security incidents and more.

In a statement, the business said: “We believe companies should be accountable to the people that trust them with their personal information, and responsible not only to protect that information but to explain how they do it.”

Meanwhile, Twitter is also moving the accounts of users outside of the US and EU from Dublin to its San Francisco-based operation.

It said this would allow it to test different settings and controls with these users, such as additional opt-in or opt-out privacy preferences, that would likely be restricted by GDPR.

Twitter data protection officer Damien Kieran told Reuters: “We want to be able to experiment without immediately running afoul of the GDPR provisions.”

However, it may well be a case of locking the stable door after the horse has bolted. The Irish Data Protection Commission recently confirmed it has concluded investigations into Twitter – as well as Facebook’s WhatsApp – over possible breaches of GDPR, with Commissioner Helen Dixon expected to issue draft decisions within the next few weeks.

The rulings will be the first to come out of Ireland since GDPR came into force on May 25 2018 and are likely to be seen as a litmus test for future action.

There is also still no word as to whether Twitter will face further investigations over more recent issues. Over the past three months, the social media giant has been forced to admit three separate potential data breaches in which it had shared users’ personal data without their consent.

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